Paul Novak's fate is now in the hands of a jury. Tuesday, the defense and prosecution gave their final arguments in the 2008 murder case. Eva McKend has more.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- In their closing arguments, the defense characterized the allegations against Novak as lies, while the prosecution maintained a conviction would bring Catherine Novak justice.
If any member of the jury has a shred of doubt Paul Novak murdered his wife, they should not find him guilty, said defense attorney Gary Greenwald. He told the jury the prosecution's star witnesses cannot be believed.
"Scott Sherwood never saw a scratch. Investigator Kelly did, Michelle did, Paul did, he didn't," said Greenwald.
Greenwald focused on these inconsistencies throughout his closing arguments to jurors.
LaFrance said when she lied about being Novak's alibi, she also told police a scratch on Novak's neck was from a cat, a scratch she later said Novak got when he was strangling his wife, Catherine. Sherwood and LaFrance also had conflicting accounts about how the fire was set, their stories too unbelievable to be true.
Greenwald said, "How does he not freeze? He's walking plus or minus a mile with no shirt or clothes on except the shirt like the one you might be wearing now and he's coming back. Does that make any sense?"
Steve Lungen, special counsel for the prosecution, said Novak's actions were callous, premediated and cold. He only thought about himself argued Lungen and there should be no doubt in anyone's mind Novak murdered Catherine before setting the house on fire and collecting more than $800,000 in insurance money.
Lungen said, "He took from Catherine her life and her ability to watch her children grow and to share in their lives. She will not read to them, she will not hug or hold them, she will not nurture or educate them. This defendant took from Catherine her dreams for her children, her hopes for her children and her future. "
Now it's in the hands of the jury who could come back with their decision at a moment's notice.
Catherine's family says no matter the outcome, they will always think about her.
"We will accept any verdict that comes through in this and we will grieve Catherine again as we did five years ago," said Michael Lane, Catherine Novak's brother.